Posted by Noelle on May 20th, 2013
Categories: Sides
Tags: ,,,

This recipe is completely inspired by my first, but hopefully not last, visit to Vedge restaurant in Philadelphia. The hubs and I were celebrating our veganversary and wanted to go somewhere special. Special does not begin to describe Vedge. From the minute I walked in, my vegan heart skipped a beat. As we were ushered past the vegan bar and into the main dining room, the ambiance and decor came together like magic. Minimalist in it's style, yet warm from the ample glowing ceiling lights, with every detail of this historic building thoughtfully restored... all with a neutral palette which quickly draws your eye to the gorgeous food on the tables. That is the real star of this place. We sit down and are given the menu and the day's "dirt list" which is the daily farm-to-table special collection of vegetables. We quickly order beer and begin the hard task of figuring out what food to order. Kung pao cauliflower with peanuts, black vinegar, and cilantro or asparagus & garlic mustard soup w/ preserved lemon and pepitas? How about both. So the food arrives and we dig in. Food orgasms begin. Sorry but seriously, those vegetables were that good. So we order two more plates of veggies. Brussels sprouts, shaved and grilled with smoked mustard arrives. We moan our way through it, savoring every delectable bite. It dawns on me that I have never had vegetables coaxed to such beautiful perfection before. It makes me want to cry tears of joy. I need to take a moment... Needless to say there were many more plates of food and of course dessert, which will require a whole post on it's own. I left Vedge so impressed and so inspired. The hubs and I set out to create our own version of those Brussels sprouts that would be quick, simple, and easy... but still taste special. And here you have it. This truly feels gourmet. It would be a great side dish to impress dinner guests with, or to make the foodie in you sing... or to just celebrate this gift of life. Peace!

Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Ingredients:

Smoky Mustard & Tahini Sauce:

  • 1/8 cup spicy brown mustard
  • 1 TBS tahini
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 cup water
  • salt & pepper to taste

Brussels Sprouts:

  • 1 lb or more Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 TBS canola oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (depending on what saltiness you like)
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions:

Preheat a grill with a cast iron skillet or pan over medium heat. Next, make the mustard sauce. Pull all ingredients except the water into a bowl and whisk rapidly until combined. Slowly add water while whisking until the mixture becomes a thick creamy sauce. Add more water if needed to help thin it out a bit.

In a large bowl toss the Brussels sprouts with the canola oil, salt & pepper. Once grill and pan are heated, add sprout mixture and cook stirring and tossing frequently for 3 - 5 minutes or until the sprouts just start to get browned on the edges. Be careful not to overcook, you still want them to have some texture. Pile them neatly onto a serving platter and drizzle with mustard sauce and more fresh cracked black pepper. Makes 4 generous sides.

Posted by Noelle on September 17th, 2012
Categories: Breakfasts, Desserts
Tags: ,,,,

It's hard to find healthy sweet treats, even harder to find vegan and gluten-free healthy sweets. Someday I hope that every baker in America, after mastering their skills, will proudly add symbols for vegan and gluten-free goods on their signs or at least their windows. Is that too much to ask for? That would seriously be a dream come true. Anyways, until that time, I have to create my own healthier sweets. I happened to have some bananas that were looking pretty brown and a craving for chocolate. What a great combination! And of course it's the perfect time of year for oatmeal. So I combined everything together in one happy little cookie. These are more cake-like little bites, than a chewy cookie. Not too sweet, not too filling, with just enough chocolate to make me happy. These would actually make great little mini whoopie pies if you had a hankering to whip together a vegan buttercream. I have to admit that I gave them to not only my family, but my coworkers and other work associates to taste test. Why? Because I loved them, but they are different and again, healthy. Just needed a reality check for others to say they enjoyed them too... I got the thumbs up from everyone and they were gone quickly. So here's hoping you will like them too 🙂

Vegan Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 - 1/4 cup of rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup of rolled oats, ground fine in a food processor
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/8 cup agave syrup, I used light
  • 1/8 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips, or more to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large cookie sheets with parchment paper, then spray the paper with non-stick spray. In a large bowl whisk together the rolled oats, ground oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a medium bowl whisk the banana, agave, oil, and vanilla together. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture. Using a spoon, stir until everything is well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Place a heaping tablespoon of batter for each cookie onto the parchment lined pan, leaving at leaving about 2 inches between the cookies. Press the down on them slightly until they are no more than 1/2" thick. Put 8-10 cookies on each sheet. Bake cookies for 25-30 minutes, rotating halfway through to make sure they back evenly. They should be just slightly golden around the edges. Let rest on pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Makes 16 - 20 cookies.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Posted by Noelle on September 10th, 2012
Categories: Desserts
Tags: ,,,,

Fall is knocking on the door. Summer was hot and glorious, I will miss it... But Fall, with it's chilly mornings, changing leaves, and the first possibility of logs burning away in the fireplace is almost here. I find myself patiently waiting for the apple harvest, tossing around ideas on what to make with pumpkins, and dreaming of cranberries. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger can be smelled wafting through the house at any moment, inviting you to get cozy and warm with a hot cup of tea. Ah yes, fall is almost here and I am ready. This dessert is perfect for fall. All the flavors of warm, toasted coconut steeped into a sweet rich custard. Enjoy it with a fresh brewed cup of joe or even a glass of wine. It's definitely a dessert you can get cozy with. I served mine in stemless wine glasses, which made them feel extra special. The toasted coconut sprinkled on top of the whipped cream hint at the snowflakes that will inevitably fall in the coming months. So embrace the changing of the seasons, wrap your arms around your loved ones, and cozy up to some toasted coconut custard bliss together. Peace!

Vegan Toasted Coconut Pots De Creme

Toasted Coconut Puddings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup coconut flakes, chopped
  • 1-1/2 cups non-dairy milk, I used SoDelicious Plain Unsweetened Coconut Milk
  • 2 TBS cornstarch
  • 1 tsp agar agar flakes
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup, I used light
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 - 14.5 ounce can of full fat coconut milk
  • vegan whipped cream

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread coconut flakes onto a cookie sheet and bake for 5 - 7 minutes stirring occasionally until coconut is toasted and golden. Next, in a medium saucepan add non-dairy coconut milk, cornstarch, agar flakes, agave syrup, and salt. Whisk well to combine. Add toasted coconut, reserving a tablespoon or two for garnish. Bring to a slow boil over medium-low heat. Once boiling, cook for 10 minutes whisking often. Place a mesh strainer above a heat proof bowl and pour coconut mixture through to strain. Use a spoon to move coconut flakes around and get all the liquid. Open the can of coconut milk and scoop out the thick cream, being careful to get as little of the coconut water as possible. Add the cream to the bowl with the coconut mixture. Once all the cream is added, whisk very well until everything is incorporated and there are no lumps. Pour mixture into 4 ramekins, small bowls, glasses, or whatever else you have on hand. Each serving is 1/2 cup. Put into the fridge and let chill for 1-2 hours until set. Top with vegan whipped cream and remaining toasted coconut. Makes 4 servings, 1/2 cup each.

Vegan Pot De Creme